Smart technology, online exams, and mobile banking are all signs of an interconnected world, and computers are integral to keeping everything running smoothly. Computer engineers create machines, robotics, and new innovations. They work with both hardware and software and ensure tech runs smoothly, efficiently, and powerfully. The future will be increasingly digital, which creates engineering job opportunities for graduates.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that computer science and engineering majors accounted for 9.8% of conferred degrees in 2015-16, versus 6.3% in 1970-71. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also reports that computer hardware engineers earn a median salary of $115,120 per year.
For more degree and career info, jump to:
- Choosing an Online Computer Engineering Program
- What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Computer Engineering Program?
- Careers with a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering
The Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Engineering Programs
Online Bachelor's in Computer Engineering Degree Program Ranking Guidelines: We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
1. Old Dominion University—ODU Online
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University originally served as a division of the College of William and Mary before becoming a separate institution. ODU is renowned for its doctoral and research programs and its variety of distance learning majors. The school offers distance learners a tuition rate that differs only slightly from in-state tuition.
ODU currently offers an online computer engineering degree completion program that caters to students who already hold an associate degree or a significant amount of credits. The 128-credit program allows students to transfer up to 98 credits. The program's curriculum primarily consists of upper-level computer engineering courses, such as advanced circuit analysis, in addition to a microprocessor laboratory and a senior product. ODU—ODU Online's programs deliver all coursework completely online and asynchronously.
ODU is regionally accredited from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. Morgan State University
Maryland's largest historically black college, Morgan State University, originally opened as a private Bible college in Baltimore. Since becoming a state school in 1975, the college has continuously added majors, including several distance learning programs. Morgan State offers an online computer engineering degree that functions as a 2+2 program, which allows students to complete two years of engineering courses at Morgan State and two years elsewhere. The 120-credit curriculum combines upper-level coursework in both electrical and computer engineering with general education requirements.
Morgan State's online division delivers all coursework asynchronously and does not require students to visit campus. The school offers other services to online learners and working professionals, including adhering to Quality Matters standards and allocating money for military tuition assistance. Morgan State provides library services, tutoring, tech support, and academic and career counseling to all distance learners.
Morgan State is regionally accredited from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Choosing an Online Computer Engineering Program
A computer engineering online bachelor's degree intersects technology and innovation. Students learn the essentials of both hardware and software design. With an online computer engineering degree, graduates can pursue a career working with microprocessors, circuitry, programming, or applications. Computer engineering programs typically begin with a foundation in math, physics, and chemistry. Core classes focus on topics like control systems, systems analysis, electromagnetics, databases, and operating systems.
Computer engineering programs usually have a hardware or software focus. A program centered on hardware engineering will likely fall under electrical and communications engineering. Software engineering, meanwhile, will likely cover computer science with a theoretical and mathematical basis. These concentrations allow students to tailor an online computer engineering degree to fit their interests and career goals.
Most computer engineering programs require a capstone project. Many incorporate group projects or lab sessions where students work to solve hardware or software problems by applying skills and virtually collaborating with peers. Students can complete many online computer engineering degrees entirely online, while a hybrid program may require learners to attend labs on campus.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Computer Engineering Program?
The details of an online computer engineering degree vary depending on the school or program, but all curricula share some common characteristics. A computer engineering program in the first two years should cover core topics, such as computer systems, electronic design, and communications. As students progress through a program, they can tailor the curriculum with major courses and electives that build upon career objectives.
Curriculum for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering
This introductory course explores the fundamentals of circuit theory. Students study the techniques and principles behind electrical circuit analysis and how to apply such laws as Ohm's and Kirchhoff's. Other topics include steady power, three phase, and Fourier problems.
In this online computer engineering degree course, students take an in-depth look at the design process by using UML and object-oriented languages. Students in this course learn to critique the design process, a skill that enables them to detect problems at an earlier stage.
ECE students must take a course in microprocessors. Students learn about electronic design and the role of microprocessors and microcontrollers. Standard topics include I/O, memory devices, and microcomputer architecture.
Advanced Logic Design:
This advanced course covers digital design logic. Students explore topics such as combinational logic, machine design, timing, EDA, and logic synthesis. This course may also introduce hardware languages such as VHDL.
Online Bachelor's in Computer Engineering Careers
Almost every industry today relies on tech. To grow digitally, companies are hiring individuals with the background to develop, build, fix, and advance technology. With an online computer engineering degree, graduates have the skills and knowledge needed to help enterprises conceptualize, innovate, and lead.
Computer Hardware Engineer::
Hardware engineers oversee the entire production process of computer hardware and peripherals, such as processors, circuit boards, and networks. Daily tasks may involve working on simultaneous projects and the production process, from designing to prototype testing. To enter this field, individuals should have a four-year degree in a relevant major.
- Median Annual Salary: $115,120
- Projected Growth Rate: 5%
Electrical and Electronics Engineer:
Like hardware engineers, electrical and electronics engineers also design, test, and develop equipment. Electrical and electronics engineers deal with electrical systems, like those found in cars. The same skills and knowledge apply as with hardware engineers. With the integration of robotics, machine learning, and smart technology, the two types of engineering significantly overlap.
- Median Annual Salary: $97,970
- Projected Growth Rate: 7%
Software developers are in high demand. These developers create applications that drive hardware and machines. Items from a coffee maker to a car, require software to work. Software engineers work as developers, applying the principles of engineering to software design and creation. Software developers, however, do not usually possess the engineering skills to work as a software engineer.
- Median Annual Salary: $103,560
- Projected Growth Rate: 24%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics